Posted July 24, 2006 by Anthony in Makers

Review: Nando’s Hot Peri-Peri Marinade

Here is my second entry for the Nando Reviews. Once again, I am going to see if they are really putting their money where are mouths are.

Nando's Hot Peri-Peri Marinade
Let’s first take a look at the ingredients::
Water, Onions, Lemon, Garlic, Tomato Paste, Soy Sauce (7%)(Hydrolysed Vegetable Protien (Soya), Artifical Flavour (Soya), Colour (E150C), Acidity Regulator (E330), Preservative (E218), Sunflower Oil (5%), White Vinegar, White Sugar, Salt, Spices (Cayenne Pepper, Parika), Stabilizers (E405, E415), Thickener (E1422), African Birds Eye Chilli (Peri-Peri Chilli), Preservatives (E202, E211).

Whew! Now I need to consult a chemist! Perhaps someone here with a chemical engineering degree can help me decipher this. I have written it down verbatim from the bottle (parentheses and all). So it looks like a lot of lab work went into this.

Let’s go over the peripherals before we get into the taste.

It looks nice as far as saucesmarinades go. Nice red colour with visible chunks. The smell is pleasant as well. With the tomato in there it almost reminded of a spaghetti sauce. The pepper smell was also very apparent.

The consistency is on the thicker side, (thicker in terms of hot sauces and not BBQ sauces) and the stickiness factor was decent for a marinade. Like I did with the Lemon and Chipotle Marinade I made sure that the meat (chicken breast this time) was sufficiently coated and allowed to marinate for a few hours.

I have to give credit in regards to the fact that these are really easy to cook with. As soon as it hit the grill there was an amazing aroma and the marinade never came close to burning or smoking. That was a nice bonus.

As for the taste… well, if all the chemicals were needed to create this it succeeded. This tasted very nice. It was wonderful on the chicken and I even added more to the rice and vegetables. But! Yes there is a but. I have had saucesmarinades as good (and better) without all the chemicals. Maybe I am looking into this too much. But when most of the sauces you deal with (from small independents to huge corporations) that can still make incredible sauces with some know how and a few industry staple ingredients this seems a bit excessive. I can look to the CaJohn’s, Hatari’s, Blair’s and appreciate the countless hoursyears of tweaking and fine tuning on their sauces with the ingredients they use. I hope they keep it this way. Now in Nando’s defense I eat some pretty horrible stuff in terms of ingredients daily. So you can call me a hypocrite but I find some solace in the goodness of a well made hot sauce from one of my favourite producers.

Nando's Hot Peri-Peri Marinade
Oh, and as almost an afterthought, even though it says it is hot it is not. Even for someone who can’t stand anything spicy they would be fine with this.

Bottom line, this is a great sauce. I highly recommend it and it can totally make a BBQ lunch or a quick dinner.

Packaging 7/10 – colours need to be brighter – does not stand out
Aroma 8/10 – very nice – almost spaghetti sauce like
Appearance 8/10 – nice colour, perfect amount of pepper chunks
Taste 9.5/10 – extremely pleasing
Heat 2/10 – a slight zing at best

Overall 8.5/10

Nando’s USA
1041 18th W. Ste. A205
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Tel: 1-888-625-2657
Fax: 949-722-0102